What you need to know about UX Design
Sometimes people have doubts about user experience design and often it’s because of lack of knowledge about this sphere. In this article I’ll try to highlight the most common statements about UX design to give you a basic knowledge.
User Experience — is the quality of experience a person has when interacting with a specific design. This can range from a specific artifact, such as a cup, toy or website, up to larger, integrated experiences such as a museum or an airport.
In this article we’ll talk more about UX design in a digital environment. I mean websites, web applications, mobile apps, etc.
Basically, we have several channels of interactions in our life:
In the digital environment we can cover only visual and sound channels. Thus, one of the main purposes of UX and UI design is to do best what we can use those channels.
Ideal User Experience consists of:
- Business Purposes.
- User needs.
- Technical Requirements.
These are the main starting points from which we need to develop a user experience for our business needs.
To go deeper in this field, we need to make clear what is the process of UX design. Someone will tell you that it’s creating wireframes and someone will tell you that it’s brainstorming and handwriting sketches as an outcome. But if we want a professional approach we must have a professional approach.
UX Design Process
On the very first stage we need to identify what do we want to get from this product? And what do our users want to get out of it? Thus, from one side, we can discuss business plans and desirable financial outcome of the product, but from the other side, we do not design for only one person similar to us. It’s helpful to make user needs research before going on the next stages of this design process.
Usually, on this stage we work on the documentation which consists of scope of work. We start from the basics: “Why are we creating this product?” and continue with statements of what we are going to make. We can describe the functions and content requirements, set priorities and estimations, write about optimized ways of accomplishing.
Here we work on two things:
Interaction design — this is all about how people behave, think and interact with the interface. It’s also about using conventions, preventing errors and many interesting stuff.
Information architecture — organization, grouping, ordering and presentation of content. We usually work here with different types of structures, organizing principles, language and metadata. Thoughtful work on all these aspects makes a huge impact on a content area in our product.
On this stage we also can separate work on two areas. We think about the product as functionality and information. As a result, we have a skeleton of all screens of our application or website with a strong navigation at all levels of interaction. And representation of information in the way so that people can use it or understand it.
Ideal UX Team
- Usability specialist — ease of use.
- Information designer — intuitiveness.
- Information architect — structure.
- Visual designer — visual aesthetic.
- Interaction designer — visual aesthetic.
- Content specialist — information design and content management.
- UX lead – creates conditions for successful collaboration.
Solo UX designer
It’s a perfect case when we can involve whole UX team as in the list above. But what if you don’t have a big budget and time to come up with the solution that is correct from the UX perspective?
In this case you can find a solo UX designer, who can cover the most important flows from a different perspective. Probably, you’ll not get accurate documentation with deep research of target audience and business niche, but you can have thoughtful information architecture, interaction design and information design as an output from work of a solo UX designer. Usually that’s enough to start up and you can make needed adjustments after launch. As startups often say “Create a working version of a product, launch, get feedback and refine the solution”.
Example of process of work of UX designer
What is the most important is what design principle he uses.
For instance, I follow this rule:
“Design principles = Business goals + User needs”.
The solo UX designer has two main stages:
- Generate ideas
- Refine ideas
Of course, these stages include business needs, user needs and many other aspects, but the level of deepness of this work depends on a budget and time reserved for UX design solutions.
How much is it cost to hire a professional UX designer?
It’s a million dollar question. And I would ask another question to professional whom I would like to hire. How much investment we need to make to build a successful product, customer service or any other kind of business?
However, if you are new to all these processes and you just need to know the approximate amount of investments in UX specialist you can learn statistics below. It will give you a basic understanding of how you can manage financial processes when you decide to involve a UX designer in your business.
- Intern: $30,000+ or $30 per hour
- Junior: $55,000+ or $55 per hour
- Mid level: $90,000+ or $90 per hour
- Senior: $130,000+ or $130 per hour
- Superstar / Manager / Director: $150,000+ or $150 per hour
How UX design can reduce your future expenses?
You can start thinking about this question taking into account ROI. When you hire a UX designer you make an investment in the future success of your product. A thoughtful design solution prevents you from expenses on many re-designs. Since, graphic design just connects dots between your brand and functionality.